Monday, December 30, 2013

Ford Expects Best-Selling Brand Repeat in United States for Fourth Straight Year

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  • 2013 retail sales up 15 percent year-to-date, as share grows across entire Ford lineup of cars, utilities, trucks and electrified vehicles
  • Strong growth driven by western and southeastern regions of United States
  • Ford brand expects to sell more than 2.4 million vehicles for 2013
  • Ford brand sales lead through November increases to 396,041 units over second-place Toyota brand
With more than 2.4 million vehicles sold, Ford expects to retain its title as best-selling vehicle brand in the United States in 2013, and has widened its lead over Toyota.

“The great news is that we are not overly reliant on any one segment – we’re seeing double-digit sales growth in cars, trucks and utilities,” said John Felice, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “The Ford brand has had more retail share growth than any other brand in the country, with our most significant gains coming from import-dominated coastal markets. With 16 launches next year, we’re looking to keep our sales momentum going.”

For the full year in 2012, the Ford brand lead over Toyota totaled 329,677 vehicles. While December sales are not finalized, Ford expects that number to grow substantially. Through November, Ford’s lead over Toyota has widened to 396,041 vehicles.

Retail sales

Ford brand retail sales are up 15 percent through November of this year, compared to 12 percent for the brand overall. The strongest retail sales growth is coming from the traditionally import-dominated western and southeastern regions of the country. Ford retail sales are up 23 percent in the West, while Southeast region sales are up 18 percent.

Ford brand retail sales are expected to surpass 1.7 million vehicles in 2013, which makes this the company’s best retail sales performance in six years. Passenger car retail sales will surpass 600,000 vehicles – the highest volume since 2000.

Growth in all segments

Ford Fiesta set a new sales record in 2013, with a projected 70,000-plus vehicles sold, while Ford Fusion had its best year ever, with sales expected to exceed 290,000 vehicles.

Ford is the best-selling utility brand for the third straight year, outselling the second-place brand by more than 30 percent. Sales of Ford utility vehicles are up 10.3 percent, to 621,652 units. Ford Escape leads this increase; Escape is projected to sell more than 300,000 units – its best-ever year since launching in 1999. Ford Explorer is up about 15 percent, and is expected to be the best-selling midsize utility vehicle in the United States for 2013. This will be the best year for Ford utility vehicle sales since 2004.

Ford brand hybrid vehicle sales are expected to exceed 80,000 vehicles this year, nearly triple the total in 2012, making 2013 the company’s best-ever hybrid vehicle sales year. The all-new Ford C-MAX hybrid lineup is drawing nearly half of its customers from import brands.

An improved U.S. economy and an increase in home construction starts have helped boost Ford F-Series pickup to another sales crown as the nation’s best-selling truck for 37 straight years. With 688,810 sales through November, F-Series will be the overall best-selling vehicle in America for the 32nd year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

First Retail 2015 Ford Mustang GT Fastback Crossing Barrett-Jackson Block to Benefit JDRF

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  • The first retail 2015 Ford Mustang GT fastback will be auctioned to benefit leading diabetes research charity, JDRF
  • The winning bidder of the fastback can personalize his or her car with any available Mustang GT options

The first retail unit of the all-new Ford Mustang will be sold at Barrett-Jackson Auction Company’s event in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Jan. 18, 2014. Offered at no reserve, all proceeds will benefit JDRF, the country’s leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research.

For five decades, the Ford Mustang has symbolized freedom and independence for millions of people around the world. That makes it fitting that Ford Motor Company will auction off a new Mustang to help advance the goal of providing more independence to people whose lives are affected by diabetes.

“We’re kicking off the next 50 years of Mustang in style with a 2015 model featuring a sleek all-new design, world-class performance and innovative technologies,” says Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “We’re thrilled to be able to take advantage of Mustang’s popularity to help achieve the dream of ending juvenile diabetes.”

Since it debuted in April 1964, Mustang has always been “the car designed to be designed by you,” offering a range of powertrains, colors, bodystyles and other options. The 2015 edition stays true to that formula with three engine options and new technology features, further adding to the seemingly unlimited customization options. The winning bidder of Lot No. 3010 will be able to choose either a manual or automatic transmission as well as any interior, exterior and stripe color combination offered on the new Ford Mustang GT.

The team involved in Mustang design and development will sign the car in appreciation of the donation to JDRF, and the car is scheduled for delivery after production of the new model year begins.

“JDRF is very grateful for the generous and steadfast support from Ford and its employees over the years. It is an incredible honor to be a part of Mustang’s 50th celebration and we are so thankful for the donation of the auction proceeds which will go directly to JDRF’s type 1 diabetes research programs,” says Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of JDRF. “Ford’s charitable vehicle sales at Barrett-Jackson have raised more than $3 million for JDRF through the years, and these funds are helping us make tremendous progress towards therapies and treatments that will make life better for people with type 1 diabetes today as we work to find a cure for this terrible disease.”

Ford is one of JDRF’s first global partners and has supported the organization since 1983.

“Ford Mustangs have always been among the most popular collector cars at Barrett-Jackson Collector Car events,” says Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “While every collector wishes they had snapped up the first Mustang sold in 1964, this is an opportunity to realize that dream in a different way.”

The clean-sheet design for both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements such as the long sculpted hood and short rear deck, but with contemporary execution.

Powered by the throaty V8, Mustang GT features upgrades that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. Under the sleek new skin, Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems to help transfer power to the pavement with world-class handling, more precise steering control and enhanced ride comfort.

Innovative technologies provide enhanced information, control and connectivity when drivers want it, including launch control that enables smooth and consistent starts when desired.

April 17, 2014 marks 50 years since Mustang’s introduction. Each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge showing the galloping pony logo and the words, “Mustang – Since 1964.”
Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the nine million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. The car has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook.

During the auction, Ford is also offering ride-and-drive and hot lap experiences at WestWorld for those attending the sale. The ride-and-drive will feature Ford’s elite stable of 2014 vehicles, and the hot lap experience includes the Shelby GT500, Focus ST and Fiesta ST.
Furthermore, the Ford-designed and created Mustang made for the new movie, “Need for Speed,” will be on display at the auction. The “Need for Speed” Mustang features a custom-designed wide body, unique 22-inch alloy wheels, and larger air intakes to feed the supercharged V8 engine under its classic twin-nostril hood. The movie will debut in theaters Mar. 14, 2014.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Need for Speed: Mustang Countdown

Players of the EA's newest arcade-style racing video game, Need for Speed Rivals can now be the first to take a virtual test drive in the all-new Ford Mustang. The new Mustang is a available as a no-cost in-game update with with five custom paint jobs created using the online Mustang Customizer.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Voters Tell Ford to Build the Hackmobile Transit Connect Wagon as Part of MAKE Magazine Online Competition

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  • In the spirit of Vandemonium – and as a surprise to the builder, Ford will actually build the Hackmobile Transit Connect Wagon following contest presented by the company and MAKE magazine
  • MAKE magazine will award the Hackmobile design team $10,000 as the grand prize and $2,500 to runner-up Jimmy Diresta in the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge
  • Twin Cities Maker created Hackmobile for the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge, a competition to design the ultimate Ford Transit Connect Wagon for the do-it-yourself enthusiast

The Hackmobile has been selected as the winning design in the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge, a contest presented by Ford Motor Company and MAKE magazine featuring 10 teams competing to create the ultimate Ford Transit Connect Wagon for the do-it-yourself enthusiast.

Hackmobile was created by Minneapolis and St. Paul-area residents Jon Atkinson, Becca Steffen, Riley Harrison and Michael Freiert, members of Twin Cities Maker. Their idea was to design a Ford Transit Connect Wagon to transport a three-axis CNC machine the team calls The Fabber because of its use as a multipurpose tool in fabricating.

Aside from The Fabber, Hackmobile will have shelving and storage for tools – making it a mobile workshop for woodworking, metalworking and 3D fabrication.

Twin Cities Maker is a nonprofit community organization that operates a shop called the Hack Factory, where members build projects out of various materials, as well as hold classes for the community.

“The Blue Oval has always been about innovation, and that do-it-yourself spirit is alive and well today,” said Sherry Kollien, Ford SEMA vehicle project manager. “The sky is the limit with vehicles like Ford Transit Connect, and we’re very excited to surprise the Hackmobile team and make their dream vehicle into a reality.”

The 10 contestants in the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge were given a budget and specific design and build criteria to work with before submitting their proposal. They were encouraged to define a particular vision for the ultimate do-it-yourself Ford Transit Connect Wagon.

Members of the public were allowed to vote once a day for as few or as many entries as they liked, judging the concepts based on overall design and customization, as well as maker spirit.

The all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect – which features class-leading configuration options and goes on sale early next year – has been named International Van of the Year 2014. Its versatility has ignited the creative spirit of so many owners that Ford refers to it as their moment of Vandemonium.

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect comes in two distinct models – the traditional, hard-working, panel-side hauler cargo van; and the all-new wagon model, a stylish, spacious and fuel-efficient people mover. Transit Connect Wagon features sliding doors and flexible, fold-flat seating for up to seven.

The DIY challenge is part of Ford’s Makers and Movers campaign with MAKE magazine highlighting Transit Connect Wagon. Throughout the campaign, owners who have used their talents to customize the vehicle have been showcased in stories and videos on The profiles show how Ford has manufactured a vehicle that can be modified for an individual’s tastes and passions.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

It’s Always Bright Inside Ford Motor Company, Even in the Dead of Winter

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  • Minimal sunlight from short Midwest winter days and finicky weather limits the amount of time Ford engineers can test outdoor conditions on vehicle interiors to ensure a good ownership experience 
  • With 6,000 watts of light, Ford Lighting Lab allows engineers to reduce sun glare on vehicle instrument panels; lab used for new 2015 Ford Mustang to create highly legible gauges and new, glare-free aluminum dash panel 
  • Ford engineers can re-create any lighting condition in the world, critical to the development of global products such as the 2014 Ford Fiesta
Through the deepest days of winter, Ford Motor Company remains focused on seeing the light. 
With Ford’s Visual Performance Evaluation Lab – known internally as the Lighting Lab – engineers re-create daylight to work to reduce sun glare on vehicle controls and instrument panels. 

The high-performance Lighting Lab uses a planetarium-like dome to replicate sunlight conditions from dawn to dusk, simulating the phases of the earth’s revolution around the sun. Additional lights lining the perimeter of the dome can be adjusted to simulate the effects of weather conditions. 

The designers behind the 2015 Ford Mustang used the Lighting Lab to ensure the car’s newly available aluminum dash panel does not cause glare to drivers under a variety of conditions, and that the instruments found in Mustang’s optional gauge pack are always legible.

“With the Lighting Lab, we can ensure that the first time a buyer sits in the 2015 Ford Mustang, that person will be able to see the interior as the designers originally envisioned it – in the best light possible,” said Mahendra Dassanayake, Ford lighting technical specialist. “Whether the car is parked outside or is sitting on an auto show floor, whether it is a bright, sunny day, or overcast and snowing, the materials and controls in the Mustang will be both visually satisfying and highly functional.”

To conduct an evaluation of switches, clusters, climate controls, navigation systems, radios or entertainment systems, the car or the individual component is first placed in the middle of a large circular space. A switch is then flipped to power on four 1,500-watt lights mounted on a moveable steel arm. 

By physically pushing the arm to specific points around the circle’s edge, and adjusting the spotlights and floodlights in the ceiling, the Lighting Lab can simulate light conditions at every time of day, while the additional lighting in the dome is used to vary weather conditions from bright sun to full cloud cover.

These tools allow Ford engineers to re-create any kind of lighting condition found anywhere in the world when designing new vehicles, which is critical to the development of global products such as the 2014 Ford Fiesta.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Art of Camouflage - Mustang Countdown

The all-new Ford Mustang was one of the most highly anticipated new cars of 2013, one that everyone wanted to get a look at. Keeping the shape hidden until everyone was ready to reveal it was the job of the Ford camouflage team.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ford's Immersive Vehicle Environment

Ford is the first automaker to use a new ultrahigh-definition, virtual reality lab that enables designers and engineers globally to work together on vehicles in real time

Virtual reality can be more effective than real-world design development; this year alone, Ford designers and engineers have verified more than 135,000 details on 193 virtual vehicle prototypes

Thanks to Ford's Immersion Lab, improvements were made in both design and function to the sleek, door-mounted sideview mirrors and ultrathin LED center brake light on the new Ford Fusion; likewise, the all-new Ford Mustang benefits from improved fit and finish of its dashboard and concealed windshield wipers

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hiding in Plain Sight: Keeping the Highly Anticipated New Ford Mustang Away from the Paparazzi

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  • The all-new Ford Mustang is one of the most hotly anticipated cars of the year, with everyone wanting to see what it looked like before it was even revealed
  • When prototypes with final bodywork are built, engineers spend months testing the vehicles with padded camouflage and special paint jobs to hide the true shape

    In the months leading up to the global reveal of the all-new Ford Mustang in early December, debating the exact shape of the car was one of the hottest topics for fans on the Internet. Helping fuel their speculation – while enabling the Mustang development team to log tens of thousands of test miles on public roads this past summer and fall without revealing the car’s shape – was the job of the camouflage team from Ford design and engineering.

    With more than 3,000 film and television appearances over the past 50 years, Mustang has the sort of on-screen résumé many in Hollywood would envy. Like those celebrities, when a new Mustang is on the way, the car paparazzi immediately mobilize in an attempt to capture the first photos for fan sites on the Internet.

    “Ford designers and engineers spend a lot of time developing new cars, and part of my job is to make sure people don’t see the result until it’s completely ready,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “Professional spy photographers have been stalking prototype cars for decades, and now, the addition of camera phones has made it even more critical to hide our cars from prying eyes.”

    The chase is on

    Getting an early look at highly anticipated new cars like Mustang is a cat and mouse game between automakers and a small cadre of automotive spy photographers that hide out for weeks on end in hopes of catching a glimpse of an upcoming vehicle that will tease fans.

    “The professional photographers all know where the cars get built and where they get tested,” said Pericak. “One photographer we see frequently parks in discrete locations with a view of these facilities, just waiting for something new to emerge.”

    With most people now carrying smartphones with cameras and Internet connections, just avoiding the usual photography locations is no longer enough.

    “Before a single one of these test vehicles is allowed to leave the prototype plant, a camouflage package is developed and must be approved by the design, engineering and test track safety departments,” said Al Wilkinson, Ford camouflage coordinator. “With all of the camo in place, even a good photograph should not give away the design details of the new car.”

    Initial camouflage development begins with the design team, and is then refined through engineering and safety. With Mustang, the first recommendation for camo was surprisingly minimal in an effort to keep weight and aerodynamic effects to a minimum.

    “When I saw the first camouflage package the team suggested, I knew it wasn’t good enough to counter the paparazzi, so we went back to the drawing board,” said Pericak.

    With too much of the new body revealed in the first camo package, the team quickly went to work to make sure the entire body was covered with black vinyl and heavily padded underneath with foam. The second proposal still showed the basic profile of the fastback roofline, something Pericak didn’t want to have revealed this early.

    Click here for a video about the Mustang camouflage

    The final camo package created for the new Mustang obscured the new fastback profile and proportions, making it appear more like a notchback, and smaller than it actually was. Pieces of plastic and foam were strategically placed beneath the vinyl to hide the true contours of the car.

    “Safety is as important as security when testing prototypes,” added Wilkinson. “Despite covering the body, we still have to make sure car lights and signals can shine through.”

    The vinyl panels have to be applied in a specific sequence to make sure there are no places for air to catch the vinyl and pull it up. With the new Mustang GT capable of hitting 155 mph, having the camo come loose at high speeds is a danger for both test drivers and bystanders.

    In its final form, the camo package for the new Mustang weighed in at just 49 pounds, providing security without undue impact on the vehicle dynamics.

    Professional photographers – who prefer to stay in the shadows or trees – acknowledge they can wait anywhere from minutes to months to catch a prototype, and patience is a virtue. When vehicle engineering manager Tom Barnes finally drove the first fully covered new Mustang out of the factory on a rainy day in June, it took less than an hour for photos of the car to begin turning up on automotive websites.

    “After spending weeks refining the camo package for the Mustang, it was a bit frustrating getting snagged by the paparazzi almost immediately,” said Barnes. “On the other hand, when we saw the photos later that day, it was a relief to realize you really couldn’t tell what the car looked like.”
  • Even with the lengths Wilkinson, Pericak and the rest of the team went to in order to obscure the shape of the new Mustang, sometimes a new car still needs to be tested without camo, and the only way to do that is a lot of late nights. Now that the world has seen the new Mustang, the engineers are free to complete the final months of development out in the open, camo-free, as the spy photographers have moved on to new targets.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ford EcoBoost Labs: Deadlift

Can a bodybuilder deadlift an SUV? Not likely. But race car driver Tanner Foust and Syyn Labs' Adam Sadowsky demonstrate how the EcoBoost engine might just have the power to pull off the feat.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Automated Ford Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle

Ford unveils automated Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle to test and advance its Blueprint for Mobility, which envisions a future of autonomous functionality and advanced technologies after 2025
Developed in collaboration with the University of Michigan and State Farm®, the vehicle builds on more than a decade of Ford automated driving research

Ford is among the leaders in offering driver-assist technologies in its vehicles on the road today, including Ford Fusion, Ford Escape and Ford Explorer

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Certification Testing in Los Angeles Highlights Ford Dominance in Police Sedan, Utility; All-Wheel Drive

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  • Ford EcoBoost®-powered Police Interceptor sedan bests high-performance V8 sedans from two competitors in 0-100 mph testing and average lap times
  • New Ford EcoBoost Police Interceptor utility vehicle accelerates faster than all base V6 sedan competitors
  • Wins for both sedan and utility vehicle confirms advantages of company’s intelligent all-wheel drive on Ford Police Interceptor sales
For the third straight year in Los Angeles Sheriff Department tests, EcoBoost®- and all-wheel-drive-equipped Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle were fastest both in 0-100 mph acceleration testing and average lap times at Fontana raceway in California.

While wins three years running is a point of pride for Police Interceptor sedan, the results of the utility vehicle tests are noteworthy, both for the industry and Ford, because Police Interceptor utility represents an increased percentage – now 60 percent – of Ford police vehicle sales.

“Not only do we remain faster, but agencies like the Los Angeles Sheriff Department see the benefits of all-wheel drive and EcoBoost,” said Arie Groeneveld, Ford chief engineer. “In pursuit driving conditions, being able to put down 365 horsepower is best accomplished using our intelligent all-wheel-drive system – which optimizes handling and traction in all driving conditions, including dry-pavement surfaces – as demonstrated in LASD testing.”

Two trends emerge

The performance achievement of Police Interceptor sedan and utility confirms two major shifts in police vehicle trends Ford is leading since its introduction last year of the all-new Police Interceptor family – the overwhelming preference by police agencies for Ford’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system, and a growing preference for the spacious utility vehicle.

Since launch, Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle, which replaced the venerable Crown Victoria, have seen significant sales increases – sedan sales are up 34 percent in calendar year 2013, while utility sales are up 142 percent.

Today, Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle is only available with all-wheel drive, while 88 percent of Police Interceptor sedan volume is all-wheel drive (base 3.5-liter Ti-VCT sedan can be ordered with front-wheel drive, while the 3.5-liter EcoBoost-equipped version is standard all-wheel drive). Groeneveld said the LASD tests demonstrate police agencies don’t need to sacrifice performance for the added space and versatility a utility vehicle provides.

Beyond obvious traction advantages proven through all-wheel drive, evaluations like the LASD and Michigan State Police tests earlier this year demonstrate that Ford’s intelligent all-wheel drive enhances handling, especially in pursuit situations.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered Police Interceptor sedan bested both competitors’ high-performance V8 sedans in 0-100 mph testing.

Preliminary results of LASD testing show the fastest of the fast – the 2014 Ford Police Interceptor EcoBoost sedan with standard all-wheel drive – posted a 0-100 mph time of 14.2 seconds, compared to 15.2 seconds for the 5.7-liter Hemi-equipped Dodge Charger with optional all-wheel drive, and 14.4 seconds for the Chevrolet Caprice with 6.0-liter V8.

The LASD tests were conducted with the utility vehicles carrying 400 pounds of cargo to simulate real-world conditions. The all-wheel-drive-equipped 3.5-liter EcoBoost utility turned in a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and 0-100 mph time of 18.3 seconds. The Chevrolet Tahoe with 5.3-liter V8 returned an 8.5-second 0-60 mph time and a 0-100 mph time of 26.4 seconds. Even the base Ford Police Interceptor utility, equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 and all-wheel drive, beat the competition by posting a 7.9-second 0-60 mph time and 23.6 seconds in the 0-100 mph contest.

Not only did the Police Interceptor sedan and utility prove fastest in a straight line, both also posted fastest average lap times in their segments. The EcoBoost sedan (at 81.25 seconds) is 0.7 second faster per average lap than Chevrolet Caprice 6.0-liter V8 with rear-wheel drive (at 81.97 seconds), and 0.9 second faster per average lap than the all-wheel-drive-equipped Dodge Charger with Hemi V8 (82.19 seconds). Ford Police Interceptor utility with EcoBoost (85.58 seconds) is 6.1 seconds faster per average lap than Chevrolet Tahoe (at 91.71 seconds).

Ford Police Interceptor vehicles are gaining attention with agencies nationwide as a means of balancing law enforcement’s need for speed in pursuit-rated vehicles with the need to save money. Switching from traditional V8-equipped police vehicles to powerful but more efficient Ford EcoBoost V6 vehicles achieves this goal.

With Ford’s announcement in September of a new non-pursuit-rated, fuel-efficient 2.0-liter EcoBoost-equipped Special Service Police Sedan that achieves 30 mpg highway, the company now offers law enforcement agencies the power of choice when they want to optimize efficiency and power.

For more information on Ford Police Interceptor, visit

Monday, December 16, 2013

All-New Ford Mustang Is Named ‘Official Car’ of 2014 International CES; New Technology to Be Announced at Show

  • Advanced driver-assist features, technology to personalize the driving experience and performance improvement applications mark some of the innovations for all-new Mustang
  • Ford to showcase all-new Mustang and announce its new technology features to open the 2014 International CES® Tuesday, Jan. 7

The most technologically advanced version of Ford’s iconic pony car will take center stage at the 2014 International CES® as the all-new Mustang is recognized as “Official Car” of the world’s largest hands-on showcase of emerging innovation. 2014 International CES will be held Jan. 7-10, 2014, in Las Vegas; the show is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association®.

“Mustang has always been more than just a car, as it reminds us of the freedom and joy that comes from traveling the open road,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president, Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “With world-class performance and innovative technologies wrapped in a sleek design, the all-new Ford Mustang puts you in control of the driving experience that suits you best.”

As Official Car of the 2014 CES, a Mustang fastback will be prominently displayed in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, Ford will feature the Mustang convertible in its main display area in the North Hall. Ford will host a press conference to debut the new Mustang to the CES audience and to announce new technology features at the show’s opening on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

“It is very exciting to see an iconic American car like Mustang equipped with state-of-the-art technology,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “Automobiles are rapidly becoming mobile technology platforms as consumers demand connectivity along with efficiency and performance in their vehicles.

“With features like upgraded SYNC, Ford automobiles are built with cutting-edge technology that can make driving safer and more enjoyable. We are overjoyed to see Ford return to our show and to have the new Mustang as Official Car of the 2014 CES.”

The All-New Ford Mustang GT

Smarter than your average pony

Delivering a great driving experience is all about keeping the driver in control. In addition to the fundamentals of proper seating, control today also means making technology available to enhance the drive – whether it’s a daily commute, extended road trip or weekend track day.

Rather than having to settle for a one-size-fits-all technology solution, Mustang drivers will have the ability to tune their individual car to their driving style and road conditions. With available Selectable Drive Modes, the driver can quickly adjust steering effort, throttle response, shift control and stability control settings by toggling between normal, snow-wet, sport and track modes.

In addition to the four preset modes, drivers can fine-tune the steering effort separately with standard, comfort and sport settings. The new Ford stability control system can also be set to a less intrusive sport mode or turned off entirely for track use.

Standard and available technology features of the 2015 Ford Mustang include:

  • Ford SYNC® connectivity system, with Bluetooth®, two USB ports, enhanced voice recognition for hands-free control and access to SYNC Services, 911 Assist®, Vehicle Health Report and more
  • MyFord Touch®: Adds an eight-inch high-resolution touch screen display, more natural voice recognition with improved accuracy, and simplified controls for the available SD card-based navigation
  • AppLink: Gives drivers the ability to control more than 60 smartphone apps for information and entertainment using simple voice commands
  • Intelligent Access with push-button start: Doors and trunk can be unlocked without reaching for a key, and the engine is started with a push-button on the center stack. Up to three key fobs can be programmed to memory positions for mirrors and available power seats
  • Track Apps: Drivers can get instant access to acceleration, braking and handling performance data through the instrument cluster screen
  • Launch control: Manages engine speed and brakes, giving drivers maximum and consistent acceleration at the track
  • Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support: Automatically adjusts vehicle speed to maintain a safe following distance. When a collision may be imminent, it precharges the brakes and increases the sensitivity of brake assist
  • Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: Provides the driver with alerts when changing lanes or exiting a parking space, and has been upgraded with doppler effect radar sensors to provide both improved sensitivity at longer distances and better resistance to false alerts
  • Individual tire pressure monitoring: Instrument cluster display now shows the tire pressure for each wheel – a first for Ford
  • MyKey®: Enables parents to limit top speed and audio volume, prevent disabling of driver-assist technologies, and enforce more insistent alerts for safety belt use and low fuel for younger drivers in the family
  • Rear view camera: Now standard
The all-new 2015 Ford Mustang goes on sale in North America during the fall of 2014.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Virtual Lab Improves Ford Global Vehicle Quality; Engineers and Designers Inspect 135,000 Details in 2013

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  • Ford is the first automaker to use a new ultrahigh-definition, virtual reality lab that enables designers and engineers globally to work together on vehicles in real time
  • Virtual reality can be more effective than real-world design development; this year alone, Ford designers and engineers have verified more than 135,000 details on 193 virtual vehicle prototypes
  • Thanks to Ford’s Immersion Lab, improvements were made in both design and function to the sleek, door-mounted sideview mirrors and ultrathin LED center brake light on the new Ford Fusion; likewise, the all-new Ford Mustang benefits from improved fit and finish of its dashboard and concealed windshield wipers
Ford Motor Company engineers all over the world are creating vehicles in a new way – together, in an ultrahigh-definition, virtual reality space. Simultaneous input from designers and engineers globally is helping to improve Ford vehicle quality ahead of the prototype stage in vehicle development.

Like a Second Life game – a popular online 3D virtual world – but with ultrahigh definition, engineers and designers at Ford now experience a car the way a consumer would in a showroom. Using a totally immersive virtual space allows them to create visuals almost indistinguishable from a real car, and results in improved vehicle quality and craftsmanship.

This more dynamic, precision-oriented work environment is already delivering improvements for the customer, as seen, for example, in specific features of the new Ford Fusion and all-new Ford Mustang.

For Fusion, determining sideview mirror placement allowed for engineers to deliver optimal visibility without impacting the design of the car. The position of the sideview mirrors went through several virtual iterations before it was determined that optimal placement was a door-mounted design, which enhances visibility. Engineers also found visibility was maximized without losing style with an ultrathin LED center brake light.

This new virtual, global technology was also applied to development of the all-new Ford Mustang. After viewing the car with virtual reality technology, craftsmanship engineers were able to change the fit and finish of Mustang’s dashboard and windshield wipers so that the wipers are hidden from the driver’s view when they are at rest. Eliminating exposed fasteners allowed the engineers to create a finished look and a richer perception of quality.

Ford is the first automaker to pioneer this technology globally, allowing engineers around the world to work together on the same product at the same time.

“We now have Ford designers and engineers around the world working together virtually – inside and side-by-side – on the same product,” said Elizabeth Baron, Ford virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist. “By using this technology, designers and engineers can quickly transition from one car design proposal to another, and they can study and identify which is the best option.”

Updating the future, becoming global

As the company grows its global lineup of vehicles, virtual technology will be key in helping to deliver improved vehicle quality and customer experiences with new Ford vehicles. So far this year, designers and engineers have checked more than 135,000 details on 193 virtual vehicle prototypes built in the Immersion Lab – a feat that would have been impossible a few years ago.

The addition of an ultrahigh-definition “powerwall” display screen to the Immersion Lab and other Ford facilities around the world is making this technology a global reality. The screen – four times the resolution of a high-definition television – enables Ford designers and engineers to evaluate and review 3D models of vehicles in real time globally.

Ford has virtual labs around the world. In addition to an Australia facility, collaboration centers in Germany, China, India and Brazil opened in 2012. A new collaboration center in Mexico is up and running as of this year.

“We moved to the global One Ford plan so that international collaboration could lead to the development of globally appealing vehicles,” said Baron. “With this technology, designers and engineers can enhance their ability to achieve that goal – while also improving vehicle quality.”

Thanks to the upgraded facilities and new software, engineers are able to study hundreds of elements inside and outside of a vehicle. This process ensures vehicles that come to market have been painstakingly inspected for usability, consistency and design effects that are now discernible in the sophisticated shadows and real-world lighting conditions the tools provide.

X-ray vision

Ford’s Immersion Lab not only allows workers to see full-scale 3D images, it also enables engineers and designers to see inside and through a vehicle structure to study how various structural, mechanical and electrical systems interact within the architecture.

“Our new technology is more refined, and allows us to see and understand complex engineering issues while considering aesthetics and design,” said Baron. “We are incorporating light and shadow calculations in real time, which adds more depth and authenticity.”

The Immersion Lab, which began in 2006, was instituted to allow Ford designers and engineers to test various styling, craftsmanship and ergonomic options to make improvements to new vehicle design without resorting to expensive and time-intensive physical models.

Ford is the industry leader in the field of melding state-of-the-art motion capture technology, high visual fidelity and immersive virtual reality tools. Using data derived from these tools, designers can improve such attributes as outward vehicle visibility, quality and comfort.

Upgrades to the Immersion Lab include:

  • Virtual Space: With the new 4K-resolution “powerwall,” Ford engineers can have a life-sized view of issues that arise in vehicle development. Actual movement of designers and engineers connects with virtual movement, with the system linking Ford workers globally to simultaneously analyze and inspect the same virtual vehicle on a scale not possible before. The newest software provides a virtual experience almost indistinguishable from a real vehicle
  • Programmable Vehicle Model: With upgraded software, engineers can now get immersed in a lifelike virtual vehicle. Evaluators can sit in the Programmable Vehicle Model – an interior laid out with steering wheel and seats – and both visualize and feel components. Engineers can test steering wheels, door handles and other major touch points for placement relative to the driver’s seat. Like the Virtual Space, the Programmable Vehicle Model has gotten upgraded collaborative capabilities. One Ford designer can be outside the car in the Virtual Space, while another is inside the car in the Programmable Vehicle Model
  • Cave Automated Virtual Environment: CAVE functions as a wide, field-of-view virtual environment, allowing Ford engineers to rapidly test design and placement of door-mounted mirrors, center brake lights and other components to study visibility and customer preference

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

All-New Ford Mustang Design: Interior

Doyle Letson, Chief Designer, Interior and William Mangan, Interior Design Manager provide a guided tour of the cabin of the all-new Ford Mustang

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ford Pilots New Siemens Software Using Google Earth Technology to Virtually Navigate Assembly Plants and Enhance Global Manufacturing Collaboration

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  • Ford, a global user of Siemens’ product lifecycle management technology, is piloting new software that enables virtual navigation of its assembly plants, down to individual workstations
  • IntoSite, developed by Siemens using Google Earth infrastructure, is a cloud-based web application that allows users to share information within the virtual plants
  • Expected benefits include improvements in communication, efficiency, globalization and standardization
Ford Motor Company is piloting new software from Siemens that facilitates virtual navigation within its assembly plants, helping the company improve global collaboration and better share best practices.

The new IntoSite™ application in the Tecnomatix® portfolio is a cloud-based web application developed using the Google Earth infrastructure. IntoSite holds a 3D version of assembly plants and allows users to navigate virtually through the plants – down to the workstations – obtaining a better understanding of global processes. IntoSite was developed by Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business unit.

“Under the Ford production system, we are constantly looking for ways to improve standardization around the globe,” said John Fleming, Ford executive vice president of global manufacturing. “The Siemens IntoSite software pilot is helping us explore the realm of possibility for future cross-regional workplace communication.”

At any virtual location, engineers or other team members can add pins – just as they would in Google Maps – and upload content such as videos, documents and images to these pins. This creates a private virtual space where users can easily save and share materials, helping to better communicate within plants and around the world.

“Using a platform that most of the world already is familiar with, Google Earth, we will be able to increase the speed of adoption and implementation for our manufacturing teams around the world,” said Janice Goral, manager, Ford vehicle operations manufacturing engineering. “The information then harnessed and transferred would build on our existing efforts to enhance alignment around the globe, and cater to a world where visual communication now can be more effective than email.”

The IntoSite pilot program, which is initially being studied at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, is expected to generate additional benefits across Ford and its global manufacturing team:

  • Efficiency: IntoSite provides an opportunity to store and access documents pertaining to specific issues in a common place rather than have to access multiple internal systems. It also streamlines the process for sharing large media files, which often require access to a third-party file sharing program or the use of global shared drives with file size and storage duration limits.
  • Globalization: Offering the ability to travel virtually to plants around the world, IntoSite helps to link together locations with real-world views in a shared online space.
  • Standardization: A key part of the Ford production system, standardization is expected to improve as a result of IntoSite application’s file-sharing capabilities, which will help to resolve manufacturing issues, establish and share global common processes and resolve inconsistencies.

Siemens developed IntoSite as a way to help manufacturing professionals virtually fly into any factory location around the globe, and explore, align, collaborate and share knowledge. IntoSite provides manufacturers virtual access to plants for manufacturing planning, issue resolution and sharing best practices globally without the need for costly plant visits.

“Ford takes a very innovative approach to manufacturing, so it’s no coincidence that they are the first to leverage IntoSite,” said, Zvi Feuer, senior vice president, manufacturing engineering software, Siemens PLM software. “Siemens and Ford have been working together for many years to close the knowledge gap between engineering and manufacturing. The IntoSite implementation is the latest step in this effort and is another example of how Siemens’ PLM solutions enable manufactures to make smarter decisions which result in better products.”

IntoSite provides easier access to knowledge that exists in PLM and other IT systems, without having to perform the cumbersome task of accessing multiple sources of data to get a comprehensive view of the plant. It improves collaboration by enabling the sharing of best practices, tips and tricks via a non-structured crowd-sourced capability. And the software fosters the sharing of local factory best practices with central engineering and other factories, turning local insight into enterprise efficiencies.

Monday, December 9, 2013

All-New Ford Mustang Design: Exterior

Joel Piaskowski, Ford Design Director, Exterior and Kemal Curic, Exterior Design Manage discuss the themes that drove the design of the all-new Ford Mustang

Sunday, December 8, 2013

All-New Ford Mustang Design: Colors & Materials

Susan Lampinen, Ford group chief designer, color and materials discusses the enhanced craftsmanship in the all-new Mustang Ford Mustang

Marks 50 Years with All-New Sleek Design, Innovative Technologies and World-Class Performance

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ford Mustang Marks 50 Years with All-New Sleek Design, Innovative Technologies and World-Class Performance

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  • All-new sophisticated design clearly inspired by 50 years of Mustang heritage evolved to attract wider array of customers and expand global market availability
  • Mustang now available with three engines offering a broader power of choice – a more powerful 5.0-liter V8, a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new fuel-efficient 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine
  • Mustang sets new performance and dynamics benchmarks for the brand with world-class handling, more precise steering control and enhanced ride comfort

The next chapter in the life of the iconic pony car begins today as the all-new Ford Mustang – loaded with innovative technologies and delivering world-class levels of performance – is simultaneously revealed around the globe in six cities on four continents.

“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”

Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia.

“We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang – an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln.

All-new shape, yet unmistakably Mustang

The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – with contemporary execution.

“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” said Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas.
Several key design features define the all-new Mustang, including:

  • A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track
  • The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass
  • Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals
  • Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille

Mustang convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car a more upscale appearance and a quieter cabin. The new top lowers twice as fast as before, and has a sleeker profile when folded for open-air motoring.

The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessible in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.

The Mustang experience

The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in and hit the road. With more options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The upgraded V6 and V8 are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.

Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new intake manifold improves low-speed breathing for better fuel economy, idle stability and emissions.
“This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer.

The Mustang EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance and projected segment-leading fuel efficiency. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with output projected at more than 305 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque.

With at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from the standard 3.7-liter V6, even the most accessible Mustang delivers the performance customers expect.

Drivers will appreciate smoother shifts from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control.

Most nimble pony ever

When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.

“We already set a very high standard for Mustang’s dynamics with Boss 302, and our goal was to go above and beyond that with this new car,” said Pericak.

Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.

The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. This is expected to be the best stopping Mustang yet, with three available brake packages.

At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

Smarter than your average pony

The all-new Mustang features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it. From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus available Track Apps, MyColor gauges and new Shaker Pro audio system, drivers will be able to customize their time behind the wheel.

The feeling of freedom and confidence Mustang instills in its drivers is amplified when they can take control of how the car behaves. On a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time.

The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time.

When it’s time to back off and relax for the drive home, available advanced driver-assist features including Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control can help ease the load, while SYNC AppLink lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment.

50 years of Mustang

April 17, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang and each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” Mustang will continue to be built in the United States at Flat Rock Assembly Plant.

“From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Horsepower Unleashed – Motivating the All-New Ford Mustang

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  • 5.0-liter V8 anchors the all-new Ford Mustang lineup with power and torque fit for the iconic brand
  • New 2.3-liter EcoBoost® brings turbocharging to Mustang with exceptional power and torque and projected class-leading fuel efficiency
  • Manual transmissions provide smoother shifting, automatic transmissions feature steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters

The all-new Ford Mustang offers a choice of engines available with either manual or automatic transmissions that make it a great all-around performer no matter how you mix and match.

Less is more, EcoBoost comes to Mustang

The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine brings turbocharging to the Mustang powertrain lineup. Designed to meet the needs of drivers looking for outstanding performance and projected best-in-class fuel efficiency, this EcoBoost engine has been developed specifically for Mustang. The intake manifold and turbocharger housing are optimized to provide better breathing and higher output in Mustang.

With a projected 305-plus horsepower and 300-plus lb.-ft. of torque, this EcoBoost engine fits the bill for a true Mustang powerplant.

“This EcoBoost engine delivers the healthy output that Mustang drivers expect regardless of the speed,” said Scott Makowksi, EcoBoost powertrain engineering manager. “This EcoBoost engine might be small in displacement, but it delivers where a Mustang driver expects it with a broad, flat torque curve and great driveability under any conditions.”

The newest member of Ford’s global family of EcoBoost engines, the 2.3-liter continues to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies including direct fuel injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing and turbocharging to produce big-engine power and torque with improved fuel efficiency.

This is the first Ford engine to utilize a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger that provides quicker boost response while enabling lower emissions and improved efficiency. The cylinder head features an integrated exhaust manifold that separates the inner and outer pairs of cylinders into each inlet passage to the turbo.

Keeping the exhaust pulses separated from the next cylinder in the firing order eliminates mixing losses and maximizes pulse energy to the turbine wheel. The result is quicker torque delivery when the driver needs it for passing maneuvers and similar performance to a twin-turbocharger configuration.

The separated exhaust ports also enable the exhaust valves to stay open longer for reduced pumping losses that improve specific fuel consumption by about 1 percent.

With more than 305 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque pumped out from such a small engine, in a car where drivers are more inclined to use it, ensuring durability was critical. Enhancements to the Mustang EcoBoost engine to withstand the added stresses include:

  • Forged-steel crankshaft
  • Piston-cooling jets
  • Steel piston ring carriers
  • Premium bearing materials
  • Upgraded valve seat materials
  • Forged-steel connecting rods
  • High-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block with ladder-frame bearing caps
  • Deep-sump, die-cast aluminum oil pan

The beating heart of a pony

No Ford Mustang engine lineup would be complete without a great V8 engine at its core. The 5.0-liter V8 powers into a new generation with a host of upgrades that enable it to breathe better, especially at higher engine speeds. Many of these changes are derived from the lessons learned in developing the special edition 2013 Mustang Boss 302.

Getting air into the cylinders and exhaust out is the key to generating more power and torque from any engine, and that has been the focus of development on the V8, which features:

  • Larger intake valves
  • Larger exhaust valves
  • Revised intake camshafts
  • Revised exhaust camshafts
  • Stiffer valve springs – ensures that the valves close completely at high rpm
  • New cylinder-head casting – revised ports that provide a straighter path to the valves for less-restrictive intake and exhaust flow; combustion chamber modifications accommodate larger valves
  • Sinter forged connecting rods – lighter and more durable for high-rpm operation
  • Redesigned piston tops – deeper cutouts clear the new larger valves
  • Rebalanced forged crankshaft – supports higher-rpm operation

These upgrades are projected to generate more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque.
A new intake manifold includes charge motion control valves to partially close off port flow at lower engine speeds. This increases the air charge tumble and swirl for improved air-fuel mixing. This results in better fuel economy, idle stability and lower emissions.

The variable camshaft timing on the intake side now has a greater range of adjustment available thanks to mid-lock phasers. This enables better optimized control of the valve timing over a broader range of engine speeds and loads for improved fuel economy and emissions


More than most drivers, Mustang owners like to take control and shift for themselves. Whether they select a fully manual gearbox or the updated automatic transmission, the experience will be better than in any previous pony.

The Getrag manual has a new shift linkage design for shorter throws and improved precision. The shift lever is now positioned closer to the driver and away from the cup-holders so the driver has a clear path for shifting.

Mustang blends outstanding all-around performance and everyday usability. Drivers who prefer to let the car handle the shifting during their daily work run, but still want to take control when the roads get twisty, will appreciate the new steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles with rev-matching downshifts that are now standard with the Select-Shift six-speed automatic transmission.

The automatic also features a redesigned case with cast-in ribs that help make it stiffer and reduce the weight. Internally clutches have been optimized and operating temperature has been increased to reduce friction. The output shaft is now supported by a ball-bearing that enables a top speed of 155 mph for Mustang GT.

With a choice of powertrains to match driving styles and lifestyles, the new Mustang has contemporary technology under the hood to match its modern design and remain quintessentially Mustang.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Vandemonium Builds as MAKE Magazine and Ford Ask Voters to Choose Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Transit Connect

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  • Ford and MAKE magazine introduce the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge, a competition to create the ultimate Ford Transit Connect Wagon
  • Through Dec. 12, the public can vote ( for their favorite from among 10 vehicles designed by well-known makers challenged to create their ultimate Transit Connect
  • MAKE magazine will award $10,000 to the winner, $2,500 to the runner-up
Ford Motor Company and MAKE magazine are asking for the public’s help in deciding among 10 innovative proposals for a one-of-a-kind Ford Transit Connect Wagon as part of the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge.

Voting, which began Nov. 18, is open until 11:59 p.m. PST, Dec. 12. The public will choose who wins the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge, casting ballots via the contest’s website ( for entries that take Ford Transit Connect into some very different and creative territories.

“Meeting an unmet need is key to making,” said Mike Senese, executive editor of MAKE magazine. “The Ford Transit Connect Challenge is a great platform for our community to showcase their imagination and DIY skills.

“The versatility of Transit Connect opens up nearly limitless configuration options and uses,” he added, “and its uniqueness fits perfectly with the diverse interests of the members of the maker movement.”

From the Robot Ambulance that serves as a mobile toy robot factory for children to the Urban Photography Response Vehicle for the film and production industry, entrants were given a budget and specific design and build criteria. They also were encouraged to define their vision for the ultimate Transit Connect Wagon.

The grand prize winner will be given $10,000, and the runner-up will be awarded $2,500.
The public can vote once a day for as few or as many entries as they like. The contestants will be judged on overall design and customization, as well as maker spirit.

Ford Transit Connect first launched in North America in 2009, primarily as a commercial vehicle, and has been a smart choice for small business owners ever since. The compact van earned 2010 North American Truck of the Year honors, adding to its global reputation for durability and toughness that dates back to its debut in Europe in 2003.

The all-new 2014 Transit Connect van, which features class-leading configuration options, has been named International Van of the Year 2014. Its versatility has sparked the creativity of owners in what Ford has coined to be their moment of Vandemonium.

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect is offered in two distinct models – the traditional, hard-working, panel-side hauler cargo van; and an all-new wagon model, a stylish, spacious and fuel-efficient people mover. Transit Connect Wagon features sliding doors and flexible, fold-flat seating for up to seven.

The DIY challenge is part of Ford’s Makers and Movers campaign with MAKE magazine involving Transit Connect Wagon. As part of the campaign, owners have used their talents to customize the vehicle, and have been showcased in stories and videos on The profiles show how Ford has manufactured a vehicle that can be modified for an individual’s tastes and passions.

Meet the makers of the Ultimate Maker Vehicle Challenge

  • Ben Light of New York has turned Transit Connect into the Robot Ambulance, a mobile toy robot fabrication lab for children
  • Game of Drones has created the LandLab Transit Connect, turning the vehicle into an all-terrain, modular base station for disaster relief, scientific research and living off the grid
  • Milwaukee Makerspace has given personalized styling to Transit Connect, turning it into a vehicle that can show off inventions or products created by members at special events
  • The Hackmobile, designed by members of Twin Cities Maker, is a Transit Connect designed around The Fabber, a three-axis CNC machine with multiple tool heads and build platforms that can be swapped out for various fabrication jobs
  • Jimmy Diresta, a self-proclaimed hunter-gatherer in New York, created a Transit Connect that allows him to bring any tool he needs into the field to repair or dismantle objects
  • Transit Connect Disaster Relief Vehicle, a collaboration between Fixers Collective, MakerBar and Xtreme Heat, is designed to provide sustained relief to disaster areas with warm food, clean water, shelter and communication devices
  • Video Sans-Video Game Transit Connect by Michael Newman turns the vehicle into a giant video game without the video, with players side-scrolling their way through hand-drawn game levels
  • The Transit Connect designed by Gerald Beranek is intended to be the ultimate mobile tool box, with a large storage system, as well as mechanical and electrical hardware
  • The MakeIt Labs Transit Connect is designed to deploy a compact but functional workshop at the push of a button
  • The Urban Photography Response Vehicle is designed by Mike and Pat Murray to be the ultimate Transit Connect for the film and production industry, with the space and tools needed for shooting video and photography

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ford Retail Sales Momentum Continues with Best November Since 2004

  • Ford Motor Company U.S. sales increase 7 percent overall in November; retail sales up 9 percent for best November since 2004
  • Passenger cars led by Fusion sales increase of 51 percent and Fiesta sales increase of 26 percent, both setting records for November
  • F-Series tops 60,000 sales for the seventh straight month
  • All-new Lincoln MKZ sales increase 114 percent, Lincoln up 17 percent
  • Ford announces 2014 first quarter North American production plan of 770,000 vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 3, 2013 – Ford Motor Company’s November U.S. sales of 190,449 vehicles are up 7 percent overall compared with last year. Retail sales are up 9 percent, for the best November performance since 2004.

The November retail sales performance of 147,021 vehicles reflects broad-based gains, with passenger cars up 6 percent, utilities up 3 percent and trucks up 17 percent. Ford passenger cars achieved the best November retail sales result since 2002, with Ford Fusion and Ford Fiesta both posting records.

“We continued to see sales increases across our full family of vehicles – particularly with our passenger cars and utilities in conquest coastal markets – helping us post our best November retail sales performance since 2004,” said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Fusion and Fiesta were particular standouts, setting November records, and Ford trucks maintained their strong selling pace.”

Fusion sales of 22,839 vehicles for the month are up 51 percent year over year, for the car’s best-ever November sales performance. Fusion sales continue to expand fastest in the western U.S., where retail sales are up 79 percent – including a 101 percent increase in California. Fiesta also had its best-ever November sales performance with 4,642 vehicles sold.

Ford F-Series continued its pace of selling more than 60,000 trucks for the seventh straight month, strengthening its position as America’s best-selling pickup and best-selling vehicle for another consecutive year. Sales of 65,501 F-Series trucks in November represents an increase of 16 percent compared with a year ago.

Lincoln MKZ sales of 2,854 cars represent a 114 percent increase compared with the same period a year ago, leading the Lincoln brand to an overall increase of 17 percent. November MKZ retail sales in California more than tripled for the period.

Ford also announces it will build 770,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2014 in North America. This compares with 784,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2013. Projected production of 770,000 vehicles for fourth-quarter 2013 is unchanged.

Monday, December 2, 2013

UAW and Ford Roll Out Child Safety Program in Plant Communities Across the United States

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  • UAW-Ford will give inkless fingerprinting kits to plant employees to keep an identification record of their children
  • For every kit given to an employee, another kit will be donated to the local community by the National Child Identification Program
  • At least 225,000 kits expected to be given to families, including 50,000 kits earmarked for Detroit Public Schools
UAW-Ford is joining forces with the American Football Coaches Association’s (AFCA) National Child Identification Program to distribute inkless fingerprint ID kits to tens of thousands of families in communities across the country.

The kits, which are kept with the child’s family, provide an easy way for families to create a record of their children’s fingerprints and other identifying information for quick reference if ever needed by law enforcement. The kits will be offered, free of charge, to all UAW-Ford employees at participating plants and parts distribution centers.

For every kit purchased by UAW-Ford for plant employees, the National Child Identification Program will donate a kit. The matching kits will be distributed to families in the communities that are home to Ford manufacturing plants through local schools, churches and law enforcement. In addition, the National Child Identification Program will donate 50,000 kits to Detroit Public Schools.

“Safety is the No. 1 priority at Ford and it is also our responsibility to look out for the safety of our employees’ families, as well as our neighbors,” said Marty Mulloy, Ford vice president for labor affairs. “The ultimate goal of the National Child Identification Program is to provide an ID kit for every child in the United States, and we’re proud to partner with the UAW to help them achieve that goal.”

The Texas-based AFCA created the National Child Identification Program in 1997 with a goal of creating a fingerprint record of 20 million children. The popularity of the program has far exceeded expectations, with more than 32 million kits distributed nationally and internationally, making the National Child Identification Program the largest child identification effort ever conducted.

“Our hardworking members are an integral part of the cities and towns where they work, so we’re happy to give something back to the community, especially if it helps keep kids safe,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW-Ford vice president. “We understand the importance of giving back to the communities where we live and work – it is a part of our heritage.”

Ford’s Chicago Stamping Plant implemented the program independently at an employee event during the summer. It was so well received that the decision was made to roll it out across all UAW-Ford facilities.

“I want to thank the UAW and Ford Motor Company for their commitment in helping protect our nation’s children,” said Kenny Hansmire, executive director, National Child Identification Program. “From start to finish, this project took less than 90 days. Ford and UAW leadership said ‘this is the right thing to do,’ then they rolled up their sleeves and got it done. Because of that, many of our nation’s children will be safer today.”

All U.S. plants and parts distribution centers were approached, and all UAW-Ford facilities have signed up for the program. Participating facilities include assembly, stamping, powertrain operations and all parts distribution centers. Approximately 225,000 kits will be distributed, which includes the 50,000 kits to be donated to Detroit Public Schools.

“The safety and security of our students is a top priority at Detroit Public Schools and giving the parent or guardian of each and every DPS student the ability to have a record of their child’s fingerprints certainly enhances the public safety measure we already have in place in case of emergency situations,” said Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “We cannot thank UAW-Ford enough for its continued, strong partnership and for their commitment to the community.”